The Sheraton Pattaya Resort is a very different sort of hotel property. Built on the side of a cliff, leading down to their own beach, it lends itself to a more original style than the chrome and glass décor we have all seen lately. With much wood on the floors and surrounds, it has a much more oriental feel as you come in through the portal. Add in Thai memorabilia and staff in a Thai style uniform and you can start to see the ambience.
The Sheraton has many restaurants, but we were there to review their Elements restaurant, down one floor from the lobby. An easy set of stairs and no need for the buggies to go to the lower level venues.
The inner section at Elements is air-conditioned.
Elements has two distinct sections. An outer terraced courtyard with views across the Bay of Siam and an inner section, which is air-conditioned. During the winter months, the courtyard is very popular with the guests who find it not too hot, but just very pleasantly warm.
The Asian theme is continued in the Elements restaurant which offers outdoor tropical theme and indoor seating in a modern Thai style dining room appointed with teak features. Quite a classy ambience.
Khao soi and spring rolls.
The cuisine is predominantly Asian, and Thai in particular. However, there are enough western items to choose from, so a guest who does not like Asian cuisine will still find something to their liking. Take your time over selection as there is much to select. Sections are From the West, From the Garden (B. 310-410), Sandwiches and Burgers (B. 260-440), Pastas (B. 290-420) and Mains (B. 350-1,100 for the Australian Rib eye), Curries (B. 290-380), Tastes of Thailand (B. 260-500), ASEAN Favorites (B. 220-500 for the Korean Stir-fried beef), Samplers, Spicy Garden (B. 260-400), Soups and Rice and Noodles (around B. 250).
There is a very comprehensive wine list, with some bargains if you look. Whites and reds can be had by the glass with both broad groups having bottles available from around B. 1,200.
We were a group of two Thais and one Westerner, so the choice of the Elements as a venue fitted well with the available choices. Between us all, we ordered a crispy fried salmon and basil spring rolls, a red curry with roasted duck, a fried red snapper with garlic and pepper sauce, a roasted pork neck with long beans and three flavored sauce, a spicy squid salad with Thai celery, and finally a khao soy gai.
The spring rolls came with containers with wasabi aioli and sweet chilli sauce. This was a very different way of presenting spring rolls, and the wasabi aioli was perfect with the salmon.
The two Thais in the group were very happy with their ‘spicy’ items (far too hot for the western tastes) and judged as very authentic. In Thai fashion, the dishes arrived all at the same time, something westerners get used to in genuine Thai restaurants.
For me, the khao soy gai was exactly the taste I expected. This dish is generally described in Thailand as coming from Chiang Mai, but in actual fact came originally from Burma. In the more local restaurants, the chicken is chopped up, bones and all and simmered in the soup. A more up-market version, such as this one featured sliced chicken breast, making it even more enjoyable.
Would we go there again? Yes we would. The spread of cuisine is such that everyone will find items they like. The service is the usual Sheraton standard of welcoming friendliness and you can let overseas guests experience something of the Land of Smiles. In many ways, this restaurant has several unique qualities.
By the way, the Sheraton has some specials over Xmas. There is an Xmas Eve Buffet dinner (B. 2,300) and an Xmas Day Buffet lunch (B. 2,500) and you can have free-flow wine (B. 1,200) with either of the gourmet buffets. Children are half price aged between 4 and 12, but do book.
Elements Restaurant, Sheraton Pattaya Resort, 437 Pratamnak Road, Pattaya, telephone 038 259 888, fax 038 259 899, open seven days, lunch 11 a.m. until 6.30 p.m. and dinner 6.30 p.m. until 11 p.m. Secure valet parking.